Environment: Rising Unease about Killer Bees

But a surprise awaits the U.S.-bound invaders in Mexico

For years Texas residents have been abuzz about the imminent invasion of Africanized honeybees. But in recent months the hum over the so-called killer bees has reached frenzied proportions. Local television stations have been running tapes from crews dispatched to Central America, showing ferocious swarms attacking researchers and news crews. Mosquito eradication units have been readied with special gear to wipe out the expected insect intruders. Several times a week, Houstonians sound the alarm, phoning pest-control agencies with the urgent and disquieting news: "They're here."

Well, no, not quite yet. The nervous callers apparently mistook the gentler European honeybees for the...

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